Aside from the classic cappuccino, the latte is, in our opinion, the perfect drink. Something about the trifecta of rich espresso, velvety steamed milk, and buttery whipped cream makes even the dreariest Mondays seem right again.
But what if you’re in a heat wave but still want to enjoy a latte? Don’t worry. We’ve got you. Keep reading to learn how to make an iced latte at home.
What You’ll Need
- Vanilla cold brew coffee ice cubes
- 2 ounces vanilla syrup
- Two 1.5-ounce shots of espresso
- 8 ounces of whole or oat milk
- Whipped cream
- A good burr grinder
- Espresso machine, moka pot or Aeroperss
- One 32-ounce French press
- Ice cube tray
- One 10-ounce coffee mug
- A scale
- One 16-ounce glass
At a Glance
5 minutes (Assembly only)
How to Make an Iced Latte at Home
The best latte machines elevate the classic latte experience from humdrum to memorable. The espresso shots are rich and sweet—with a thick crema—and the milk is creamy and rich, with a velvety mouthfeel throughout.
But as comforting as a warm cafe con leche latte or a coconut milk latte can be on cold mornings, sometimes, it’s just too hot. Maybe you need an iced cappuccino drink or an iced latte?
Behold the iced latte recipe.
Vanilla Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cubes
A typical iced latte at popular coffee shops uses regular ice cubes to chill the drink, but inevitably, it dilutes the flavor. So for this iced latte recipe, we’ll add vanilla cold brew coffee ice cubes to the bottom of the glass.
To make these, buy or make 16 ounces of cold brew concentrate. Then stir in either homemade or store-bought vanilla syrup into the cold brew in a 16-ounce glass or mug.
Portion the vanilla cold brew into your standard ice tray and freeze until you’re ready to assemble the iced latte.
How Do you make iced latte without a Machine?
If you don’t have an espresso machine at home, you can use strong coffee or an Aeropress attachment to make a latte without an espresso machine. While you can use whichever brewing method you choose, Home Grounds suggests using either the moka pot or an Aeropress with the Joepresso attachment for best results. These two brewing methods yield the richest, most complex flavor without adding too many steps to the brewing process.
Also, if you’re in a pinch and have neither option, cold brew concentrate or strong iced coffee works here, too.
Choosing your Dairy or Non-Dairy Options
Though you can use any dairy or non-dairy option in this iced latte, we suggest using either whole or oat milk. Both produce a velvety, creamy, frothed milk that adds texture and richness to the iced latte.
However, almond milk is a great choice, too. While it can create the velvety foam we’re looking for, it will take longer.
The Vanilla Syrup
For best results, Home Grounds suggests making your vanilla syrup from scratch. But for convenience’s sake, a high-quality store-bought vanilla syrup works here, too.
The Whipped Cream
While this is optional, we think no latte is complete without it. And while the store-bought stuff will do in a pinch, homemade whipped cream is effortless, and you can even make it in the 32-ounce French press you’ll be using for this recipe.
First, add one cup of heavy cream to a 32-ounce French press. Then dissolve one teaspoon of plain gelatine in 4 teaspoons of cold water in a separate glass. Stir to combine.
Add this plain gelatine to the French press, and add 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar, aka—the confectioner’s sugar, on top. Stir, and make the whipped cream like you’ll froth the cold milk later.
A Step-By-Step Recipe
Now that you’ve got everything together let’s make a simple iced latte.
Step 1: Make Your Vanilla Syrup
First, if you’re using store-bought vanilla syrup, feel free to skip to the next step.
Otherwise, make a simple syrup by combining one cup each of room temperature water and your sweetener of choice in a small saucepan. Bring this to medium heat and gently stir to help the sugar dissolve.
Once the sugar is dissolved, add four teaspoons of high-quality vanilla extract, two scraped vanilla beans, ¼ cup of sweetened condensed milk or heavy cream, and a pinch of salt.
Stir everything to combine, bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, turn off the heat, and let this simmer for 20 minutes.
Finally, strain this syrup through a fine mesh sieve for the smoothest results.
Pro tip: This vanilla syrup is versatile, like this recipe’s cold brew ice cubes. Feel free to double or triple the batch, so you’ll always have some on hand for iced lattes.
Step 2: Prep Your Vanilla Cold Brew Ice Cubes
In a 16-ounce glass or mug, combine 16 ounces of cold brew concentrate and vanilla syrup to taste. Gently stir to combine and transfer the mixture into the ice cube tray.
Pro tip: Because these cold brew ice cubes work for so many types of coffee drinks, keep one or two trays on hand to chill any iced latte.
Step 3: Pull Your Espresso Shots
First, measure and grind 15 grams of any coffee bean you choose. For us, we prefer single origins—usually a medium roast.
Grind your coffee and measure into a double, non-pressurized portafilter if you’ve got it, or follow the instructions for your stove-top moka pot.
Pull your shots directly into the glass over your ice cubes or into a mug or shot glasses.
Pro tip: Because espresso turns bitter the longer you let it sit, Home Grounds recommends pulling the shots directly into the glass over ice to slow down this reaction.
Step 4: Froth Your Milk
Pour 8 ounces of either whole or oat milk into a 32-ounce French press. To stretch, or incorporate air into the milk, start with two or three injections of air. Then texture the foam by bringing the French press plunger down near the bottom of the press and pulsing several times until you get the microfoam you want.
Occasionally swirl and tap the French press on the countertop for an even better texture to eliminate any larger bubbles.
Pro tip: Check out Lance Hendrick’s video here for a visual demonstration of this frothing technique.
Step 5: Assemble Your Iced Vanilla Latte
Place vanilla cold brew ice cubes into the bottom of a 16-ounce glass. Add your espresso-style shots to the ice, add more vanilla syrup to taste, pour in your frothed milk, stir to combine, and top with whipped cream.
And there you have it, a ridiculously simple iced vanilla latte you can make at home. Serve this alongside a thick slice of banana bread for the best results.
Did you make this iced vanilla latte? What’d you think? Drop us a comment below.
Do You Have to Use Vanilla syrup?
No, you don’t have to use vanilla syrup; you can use any syrup you prefer. Feel free to mix and match different syrups to create whatever iced latte you like.
You don’t even have to buy dedicated syrups. Make your coffee creamers (1).
How Do You Scale Up This Recipe?
To scale up this recipe, consider the number of espresso shots, the amount of milk, and whether you want to leave room for whipped cream.
Generally speaking, you’ll use three tablespoons of syrup or creamer for a 12-ounce latte, 4 for a 16-ounce latte, and 5 for a 20-ounce latte.
For steamed milk, remember to account for the foam. So in this recipe, we used 8 ounces of milk to allow it to expand 4 ounces—or by one-third of our starting volume.
Can You Flavor the Cold Brew Ice Cubes?
Yes, you can flavor the ice cubes with other syrups. Experiment with chocolate cold brew ice cubes for an iced coffee mocha or hazelnut cold brew ice cubes for a Ferrero Rocher latte.
- Yes, you can flavor the ice cubes with other syrups. Experiment with chocolate cold brew ice cubes for an iced coffee mocha or hazelnut cold brew ice cubes for a Ferrero Rocher latte.